Pensioner’s miracle escape after falling off edge of quarry


An 87-year-old who slipped and fell off the edge of a quarry while picking fruit was saved after she was caught in the brambles – of a BLACKBERRY BUSH.

Lucky Gwen Harwill was picking blackberries at the bottom of her garden when she lost her footing and fell head-first into the shrub.

She crashed though the thorny bush and emerged the other side – dangling 40ft over a disused quarry below.

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Incredibly, the thorny plant clung to her clothes and stopped her from falling to her death.

Her husband and a friend tried to save her but were unable to reach and emergency crews eventually plucked her out – after an HOUR long ordeal.

Gwen, of Kingsbridge, Devon, was rushed to hospital where she is now recovering from minor injuries caused by the thorny brambles.

She said: ”I was on the edge of the quarry with just the bushes holding me up. Luckily I don’t weigh very much.

”All the bramble thorns made it very uncomfortable. My head hurt the most because the thorns were digging in.

”I have been very fortunate. I was there for about an hour altogether. I am not feeling very lively but I’ll be alright.”

Gwen had been picking blackberries with her husband Leslie when she tumbled into the quarry at around midday on Saturday.

Lesley alerted a neighbour but they couldn’t rescue Gwen and were forced to call emergency services to the property, where they have lived for 30 years.

Police and cliff rescue teams eventually lifted her from the bramble bush and she was taken to hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises.

Gwen added: ”Eventually the emergency services got me up by sitting on the edge. They didn’t want to stand on the edge in case they fell on top of me.

”They lifted me up by the top of my shoulders rather than by my arms because the skin on my arms is too thin and it hurt too much.

”I was shaking so much when they got me up and laid me on a rug. I was very lucky. I’m not going blackberrying down there again.”

Leslie said said: ”I am glad I was with her this time. Last week she was picking blackberries on her own. What would have happened if I wasn’t there?”

A police spokesman added: ”Officers were alerted to the incident and the woman was rescued. She had a very lucky escape for an elderly lady.”


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